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Tag Archives: Inspirational

McKinsey report that executives can thrive at work and in life by adopting a leadership model that revolves around finding their strengths and connecting with others.

They have conducted interviews with more than 140 leaders; analysed of a wide range of academic research in fields as diverse as organisational development, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, positive psychology, and leadership; held workshops with hundreds of clients to test their ideas and undertaken global surveys.

Through this research, they have distilled a set of five capabilities that, in combination, generate high levels of professional performance and life satisfaction.

The five capabilities are:

Meaning : Managing Energy : Positive Framing : Connecting : Engaging


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Successful leaders are those who can inspire their team and gain buy-in and commitment from team members to achieve the team’s goals.

Use the questions below to reflect on the leadership experiences that have inspired you and to think about what you can do to be a truly inspirational team leader.


  1. Think about a time when someone has inspired you to do something that you did not really think you could do, or perhaps did not want to do.
  2. Once you have thought of at least one example, recall the situation in detail and what the person did. Make some notes on why their approach inspired you to do what you did. Consider their style of approach, language and behaviour, and why they were particularly effective.
  3. Now think about an occasion where you tried to positively influence a member of your team. If it worked successfully, consider if there are any parallels with your own experience. If there are, identify a model approach to help ensure repeated success. If it did not work successfully, consider why this might be. How did the person who inspired you differ in style from your own approach? In hindsight, how would you approach it differently?

Finally, list a few simple steps that you will apply to ensure that your leadership approach stays on the right track when working with members of your team.

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How would you describe an effective leader? What traits are most important? 

As a leader, you have likely spent time thinking about the strengths that would make you, or leaders on your team, more effective. But the “street view” of leadership may reveal some entirely different ideas about what does and does not work.

An independent research firm undertook a robust approach to obtaining  360-degree feedback about two groups of senior executives - those who were seen to be the most creative leaders and those who were the most reactive leaders. Feedback was provided on senior executives from 176 large companies, covering 29 industries in six countries. The study included 2,893 raters who provided 900 pages of written feedback comments on these two groups.

The top 10 of 40 strengths most frequently attributed to the creative leaders are:

  • Strong people skills.
  • Team builder.
  • Personable/approachable.
  • Leads by example.
  • Passion and drive.
  • Good listener.
  • Develops people.
  • Empowers people.
  • Positive attitude.


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